Musings, observations, and written works from the publisher of Eckhartz Press, the media critic for the Illinois Entertainer, co-host of Minutia Men, Minutia Men Celebrity Interview and Free Kicks, and the author of "Back in the D.D.R", "EveryCubEver", "The Living Wills", "$everance," "Father Knows Nothing," "The Radio Producer's Handbook," "Records Truly Is My Middle Name", and "Gruen Weiss Vor".
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Minutia Men, Episode 115
Listen to it here.
Friday, November 09, 2018
Just out of college and not knowing what comes next, Samantha Ricks visits a psychic, Ingrid, in hopes of obtaining a little guidance regarding the uncertain world ahead. The message is a little confusing at first, but a tragic incident from the past seems to be affecting Samantha’s present. All the signs point to a happy future, but there are adventures ahead for Samantha before she can realize her potential.
Cameo, by Beth Jacobellis, is an interweaving of the past, its impact on the present, and how our feelings can get in the way of understanding what is pulling us through to the future. The book begins in the present, but we are quickly transported to the cameo’s present life in 1994 and then again through vignettes from 1885, 1976 and 1989.
Every chapter of Cameo begins with a detailed, grey-tone cameo repeated from the cover art, letting the reader know that the energy of this talisman is what will drive it through to conclusion. This is a nice round visual and thematic device that is particularly satisfying. It also begins the story by engaging us in Samantha’s life right away. The psychic elements are treated in a humorous and sensible way. For instance, Samantha is not intrigued by the decrepit and dusty home of pink-sequined Ingrid, the psychic. She remains skeptical until she gets a straight answer to her question about marriage and children. She’s going to get her money’s worth despite any possibly misleading clues. She remains levelheaded even when experiencing the vision of her departed brother and is actually comforted by seeing him looking at her from behind a tree.
As a contemporary woman, Samantha is not afraid of competing in a former “man’s world” of radio sales. Through an introduction, she presents herself to the general sales manager of the station as a job candidate. She’s quickly hired and thrown into the sales pit, but she’s a smart woman and lets the childish banter and silly advances of her colleagues roll off her back. Jacobellis keeps the story rooted in reality with the ride shares, fancy awards parties, and business lunches that are such a part of the radio scene. We see Samantha’s hard work pay off in a good sales list and a rosy financial future.
We admire her strength, but there are things stronger than Samantha, like the resolution of past wrongs. Samantha ponders her personal past, trying to make sense of the guilt she feels over her brother’s passing. The “cameo” was a gift her brother had chosen for her, and it seems to be her personal talisman as she stumbles through her young life. Ghosts from the distant past also make cameo appearances.
Samantha keeps reaching back for answers, but there are parts of the cameo’s history that she will not know but can only experience. She’s not aware of just how far back the trail unwinds, but, where love is unresolved, Jacobellis allows no statute of limitations. All wrongs must be put right.
Cameo is a charming story to read. It is not a long book, but this type of love story, with layers of the past all playing out at the same time, draws us into Samantha’s quest and carries us through a briskly-paced read. I enjoyed this book for its clear storytelling and mysterious overtones. I also found it refreshing that the past is not always looking to punish but merely to resolve. Although tragic events do occur in this novella that may have their own story to tell, all Jacobellis is telling us is Samantha’s story and why some of the things that are happening to her seem to be terrible but are ultimately leading her to a future that has the promise of happiness.
Javy Wins Silver Slugger Award
Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Báez tonight won his first-career National League Silver Slugger Award. Báez is one of only two second basemen in franchise history to win this award, joining seven-time winner Ryne Sandberg (1984-85, 1988-92).
In 2018, Báez batted .290 (176-for-606) with 101 runs scored, 40 doubles, nine triples, 34 home runs and an NL-leading 111 RBI, setting career highs in all six categories. He also turned in a .326 on-base percentage, a .554 slugging percentage and an .881 OPS, all career bests as well. Báez became the first player in major league history to reach 40 doubles, nine triples, 34 homers, 111 RBI and 21 stolen bases within a single season.
Another New Author
Another satisfied author with the first copy of his book “Death of the Angels” about one of the most tragic events in Chicago history, the fire at Our Lady of the Angels school. The 60th anniversary of the fire is December 1. The book is available for pre order now. Congrats to Alex Burkholder.
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Yes, this president. The rudest man in America was upset by someone he considered rude.
Every president has had to deal with someone like Acosta. Think Sam Donaldson. Think Helen Thomas. Think Dan Rather. Every president before this has been adult enough to handle it.
Time to put on your big boy pants, Mr. President.
UPDATE: It appears the video the White House released to "show" that Jim Acosta assaulted the intern was doctored...by a right wing group tied to InfoWars. That's right, they released a doctored tape. The White house. Pathetic.
Wednesday, November 07, 2018
Christmas Music Starts Tomorrow
Robert Feder has the details.
Criminals and Dead People
Just looking over the results this morning, and here's my favorite part. How indiscriminate are Republican voters? They voted for two people who are currently indicted (Collins in New York and Hunter in California), and one who is dead. That's right, in Nevada they voted for the Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof--who died several weeks ago.
Also, white nationalist Steve King won, and an actual Nazi in Illinois (running as a Republican) got 53,000 votes.
Tuesday, November 06, 2018
The Chicago Blackhawks have relieved Joel Quenneville of his coaching duties and have named Jeremy Colliton the 38th head coach in franchise history.— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 6, 2018
Hannity appears on stage at Trump rally, despite vowing he wouldn'thttps://t.co/lFds56wR4X— POLITICO (@politico) November 6, 2018
Chet in Westmont
Monday, November 05, 2018
My favorite play of Bears game
Nobody disturb me. I will be watching this for the next four hours. pic.twitter.com/rX5WXKs7Fa— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) November 5, 2018
Don Evans on WGN Radio
Congratulations to @ARizzo44, who wins his second career #GoldGlove! pic.twitter.com/vXHuQcsp5g— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 5, 2018
Pick a Side
When David Duke, the Grand Wizard of the KKK, is on your side, there's a very good chance you are on the wrong side.
Go Trump Go! Your Midterm Ad is a masterpiece personifying the insanity of our immigration Policy. Bravo Trump! https://t.co/WSpQL5R5p1— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) November 2, 2018
Minutia Men, Episode 114
Listen to it here.
These two made the climb all the way up the Willis Tower stairs yesterday to support a worthy charity. I think Sean beat Bridget by about 15 minutes, but he's 16, and she's slightly older than that. Proud of them both.